Maniac Monday: Banned Books Week: Some Info About Challenged Books
September 29, 2009 in Blume, Judy, Chapter Books, Elementary Educators, Hopkins, Ellen, Maniac Mondays, Silverstein, Shel, Young Adult Novels Tags: American Library Association, Banned Book Week, Challenged and Banned Books, Ellen Hopkins, Judy Blume, maniac monday
Why would Shel Silverstein’s A Light in the Attic be pictured on a post that talks about challenged and banned books? Because believe it or not, it is on the list of the 100 most frequently challenged books from 1990 to 1999. Are you racking your brain, like I was when I saw the list, trying to figure out which poem offended that many people to challenge whether or not this book should be on the shelf for kids? What about these?
The American Library Association’s website has a great section on what it means for a book to be banned or challenged. Here’s the difference between being banned and challenged: “A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. Due to the commitment of librarians, teachers, parents, students and other concerned citizens, most challenges are unsuccessful and most materials are retained in the school curriculum or library collection.” Check out the ALA’s information and lists on their site. But watch out–you could spend hours, and it might make you angrier and angrier as you explore.
If you follow young adult author, Ellen Hopkins, on Twitter or Facebook, then you know that recently she has experienced her own book banning in Norman, OK. Hopkins writes realistic and wonderful books about what happens when teenagers make poor choices in books such as Crank and Glass. Hopkins was supposed to speak at the schools; but one woman protested against her, and the superintendent ruled with the one woman. She did go to Oklahoma, and she spoke in a Baptist church to parents, teachers, and students. To read more about Ellen Hopkins’s experience in her own words, check out her blog.
To see lesson plans and discussions to go along with Crank, check out my blog post from last year.
Here’s the deal: you can ban your own children from whatever books you want. As a matter of fact, you should know what your children are reading. If you don’t think your child is ready for a book like Crank, then that’s fine. Don’t let them read it. But there are 100 kids the same age who are ready and who need to read the book. Just like in the 1990s when there were girls who needed to read, Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret. Unless someone is doing something illegal, it is not your business what my child is reading or what my child is watching on TV or what my child and I discuss. Banned Books Week would not be around if we would all just mind our own business.